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Francis O'Neill
THE VIOLIN VS THE FIDDLE - PART 2 by Eliseo Mauas Pinto

Mairéad Nor Mhaonaigh w/Altan

Certainly it is not very large de legacy that survived the rupture of traditions that happened after the Two World wars The emphasis is on the soloist and this tradition the one of the virtuoso, who perhaps grants major impetus to the musician to follow ahead, in fight against the social disinterestedness and the death of its culture. Those that emigrated of the Ulster settled down in Appalachian Mts in the United States. By the end of 1918, arising a folklore and culture on new experiences and context. In the Ulster there is no great difference between the Protestant and Catholic "fiddling", Irish or Scottish; the music weaves under influences of a same origin. In the county of Clare we might say that the melodies have to be ornamented and to be embellished (as much as in the bow and the fingers like with the heart) While music for the Set of Dances is very demanded, "fiddlers" place their passion on top over the rate, the melody is what really counts. It also occurs by extension in the folk music. There is music to listen to and music to dance, and still performers for the dance. The glisandos, the conjunctures, the harmonies to two chords, the imitation of bagpipe drones, in some cases to two violins or violin and viola, all these, form part of the inherent folklore to each musician and region. Nowadays the tradition is put out of danger through Associations and Courses of Education (Scoil Eigse) organized by the Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Eirean (Association of Irish Musicians) that even has to its position an extensive file of recordings of field and edition of albums. Scottish Fiddling on the other hand has held fast in Cape Breton and great part of Canada. Mairéad Nor Mhaonaigh, violinist of the group " Altan" (Donegal, Ireland) comments in an interview (source: " Fiddler Magazine") that in its region a there survives a tradition exists of playing along two octaved violins. " I believe that it resembles to bthe bagpipe drones". "Some times in Donegal if you are playing something in A minor, for example, violinst will play Lam in the bass chords while the other will touch in the chords of A and E. Other times they play in unison as we do in Altan. There is one who as in Cape Breton, Canada, which they tune the chords A E-A' E'. I listened the old woman violinists palying with no idea in what tonality was, but were very musical. Master the execution of violin of Cape Breton, in Canada, especially by the sincopated support in piano, I believe that they have much influence of bagpipe music . Its music derives from the Scot and I feel that she is very next, since in Donegal also very we are influenced of the sort of Scotland. Independently the two areas have become very similar". A long list of fiddlers survives , famous since many have worn away bows from the times of Michael Coleman since the beginning of century. As well as they vary the different tunings and attitudes regarding the fiddle, thus also will vary the amount of melodies that will offer forthcoming generations.

For those interested on Irish fiddle repertoire, ornamentation, and regional fiddle styles, I suggest you to visit this site:

Scott Skinnaird
Sam Proctor (w/sister Kate)

Kevin Burke

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